Tahiti needs no introduction – located in the near centre of the South Pacific, the name is synonymous with lush rainforest, friendly townships and vast expanses of beautiful azure sea. A long-time favourite area for travellers is a stretch of coastal road on the central Eastern shore, squashed between craggy, rainforest-covered mountains and the dazzling Pacific Ocean. Three townships satisfy every craving a visitor could have: Afaahiti, Pueu and Tautira.

Afaahiti is a rural village rich in natural beauty. Dense green rainforest provides a backdrop to the traditional Tahitian life is on display, while black sand beaches stretch either side of the township, giving visitors a great excuse to take off their shoes and relax by the ocean. With a population of just over 5000, Afaahiti is a quaint and quiet town where visitors can relax amongst some of the most stunning scenery Tahiti has to offer.

A short drive down the coast will bring visitors to Pueu. There’s one reason people head here: surf. The Pacific is at its finest in Pueu, with long, soft barrels stretching down the beach in spectacular fashion. The waters are great for beginners and bodyboarders.

Taurtira is the most remote of the three towns, sitting on a peninsular that juts northward into the ocean. The view back across the hinterland is spectacular, with craggy mountains towering over the town displaying a thriving rainforest with too many shades of greenery to count. Neat, wooden bungalows sit within toes reach of the ocean, while dirt roads link the few shops and cafes dotted throughout the small town. Taurtira is the start of a 15 kilometre coastal walk that brings travellers up close to the sheer cliff faces and onto the volcanic sand beaches.

The best of Tahiti lies upon this stretch of road, with one hours easy drive from Papeete. The three can be visited in a day, or stretched across a week or more to really soak up the Tahitian culture of relaxation.